Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

As US voters head towards Democrats, democracy may be in trouble

Just two weeks out from the US elections, some more populist observers still seem to believe that Donald Trump can do a ‘Brexit’ – that is, produce a surprise result – and win the presidency. It is possible that there will be a surprise in the presidential race but, given that the US votes by […]

A Critical Juncture for Thai Politics

Tension is again building in Thai politics following the death of the world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The military government had been trying to dampening speculation on the imminence of the king’s condition because, at stake, is the whole orientation of Thai politics and economy. Official reports confirmed that the 88 year old […]

Trump’s campaign begins to implode

A week is, as they say, a long time in politics. Events are moving so quickly at the moment for Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the US presidential campaign that, by the time you read this, they could have substantially shifted yet again. In all, however, Trump’s presidential campaign has begun to implode. […]

Words, not unilateral US action, for Syria

It does not take much political imagination to get to the point where the situation in Syria, particularly the battle for Aleppo, should invoke the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). When a government turns on its own people – in this case largely civilians – it has lost the right to rule and […]

When lifting refugee intake still falls short

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, at the UN last week, that he would lift Australia’s refugee intake to 18,750 he no doubt thought he was making a generous gesture, or at least one that would be seen as such by its noisy Australian critics. What he did, however, was spark a continued debate about […]

Syria’s shaky ceasefire

The Syrian ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and the United States which came into effect on Monday night (12 September) already looks fragile, with key Islamist combatant parties excluded and other opposition groups believing they will be targeted as Islamists. US Secretary of state John Kerry has said this ceasefire may be the last chance […]

East Timor, 17 years on: a troubled past, a fragile future

Today [30th August] 17 years ago, in the small town of Balibo, as elsewhere in East Timor, voters queued from before dawn to vote on whether their country would become independent. Having voted, they fled into the hills to await the coming storm. Pro-Indonesian militia already ruled the town, directed by the Indonesian army. In […]

Wiranto and Indonesia’s new Cabinet

The appointment of a war criminal and broader cabinet shake-up is the latest in a series of hardline decisions by President Jokowi. But will it backfire?  Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s recent announcement of his new cabinet line-up aroused two responses. The first was howls of outrage that former defence chief and alleged human rights abuser […]

The Turkish attempted coup: 3 scenarios

Re the ‘coup attempt’ in Turkey: three scenarios. 1. The attempted coup was as it’s been portrayed by the Turkish government – an anti-democratic coup that failed. 2. It’s a plot by President Recept Tayyip Erdogan to seize power (the conspiracy theory) – not likely but has some logic to it, and 3. There was […]